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The Outhouse on the Final Frontier 

Wednesday, Sep 7 2011
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If you never want to finish a particular novel, join a book club that’s reading that novel. This isn’t an adage, just a bit of wisdom we forget every time we join a book club. The truth is, nobody should be pressured to read fiction, especially serious fiction, and that’s mostly fine, except in the case of Infinite Jest. (Let’s rally, people! The showrunner from Parks and Recreation just made a music video about Eschaton for the Decemberists!) While the citywide book club One City One Book has politely asked people to read fiction and memoirs for the past six years, it’s now looking to a new shelf: nonfiction. And not only nonfiction, but nonfiction about fecal stimulants, fat in fecal matter, and zero-gravity excretion and elimination. It also contains this sentence: “The report didn’t mention anal leakage, but I will.” Yes, it’s a Mary Roach book. This one is about space travel, and what it can do to the bowels. Of course, there’s much more to Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, but we really like it when Roach goes on about, um, biology. In any case, you will finish this book, maybe not by tonight’s One City kickoff, but certainly before any fall book events.
Mon., Sept. 12, 7 p.m., 2011

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Michael Leaverton

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